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School districts in Texas defying Gov. Abbott's order of 'no mask mandates' ... What about Central Texas schools?

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Posted at 6:55 PM, Aug 20, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-20 20:28:58-04

WACO, Texas — Controversy at the Texas State Capitol is being felt here in Central Texas.

Many schools are defying Gov. Abbott's order not allowing any mask mandate in schools.

There have been a lot of events leading up to this. After the Texas governor passed the order, many school districts in Texas - including some in Dallas and Travis counties - created mask mandates of their own. In the Texas State Supreme Court, the court sided with the school districts.

Lilu Uptmore's daughter Briles started 2nd grade this past Tuesday at Midway ISD, but so far it's been a rocky start.

"My daughter is out of school today because of a confirmed COVID case and she was in close contact," Uptmore said.

In alliance with Gov. Abbott, Midway ISD is not requiring masks for students. 25 News obtained a photo inside a Midway ISD school. The photo shows limited masks and no social distancing in school hallways. We reached out to the district, but did not hear back from them regarding the photo.

Temple ISD Superintendent Bobby Ott said the district will not mandate face coverings but will strongly encourage them.

"We have a responsibility in this and our responsibility is to encourage because we can not require," Ott said.

Waco and Killeen ISDs are also in agreement with temple. Waco ISD said they will reevaluate if cases continue to climb or public health orders change.

Uptmore said another concern comes down to vaccinations. Because a child under the age of 12 can not receive the COVID-19 shot, she said not mandating masks is irresponsible.

"I know children are healthy but if we don't wear masks, there is a child that ends up in the ICU," Uptmore said.

As Briles stays home awaiting to see if she has any symptoms, her mother said she just wants schools to be a safe place again. Right now there are over 50 school districts in Texas defying the order and creating mask mandates.